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The Daily Rundown

NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd discusses the day's top political stories.

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Cuba 26, Arizona 16, Florida 16, U.s. 8, China 8, Obama 6, Chuck 6, Ukraine 6, United States 5, Spiriva 5, Washington 5, South Dakota 5, Texas 5, Charlie Crist 5, Valerie Jarrett 4, Chicago 4, Russia 4, John Boehner 3, Rick Weiland 3, Zimmerman 3,
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  MSNBC    The Daily Rundown    NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck  
   Todd discusses the day's top political stories.  

    February 27, 2014
    6:00 - 7:01am PST  

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split, and i might need to button up. >> i learned disco is back. >> put joe and dave in the room together, and dave will come out with a tax deal. >> thank you for having me talk about eating disorders and food news as a component of today's problem. joe, if it's way too early, what time is it? >> it's "morning joe." stick around now, because we have chuck todd and "the daily rundown" straight ahead. have a good day. >> thank you, joe! a brewing backlash comes to an end. arizona's governor vetoes a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. the decision was widely cheered, but is this still more scar tissue for a state and a party that can't afford it? plus, an executive initiative. it may shape the rest of president obama's post-white house life. we're going to talk to senior white house advisor valerie jaret about his push to help young men of color. also this morning, ukraine's
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ousted leader surfaces in russia to say he's still in charge. as pro-russian gunmen take over government buildings and raise the russian flag in crimea. good morning from washington. it's thursday, february 27th, 2014. this is "the daily rundown." a packed show for you today. also going to talk to south dakota democratic senate candidate rick weiland about the unusual three-way race that may be shaping up in the mt. rushmore state. the senate landscape, by the way, changed again last night, folks, with a major coup for the republicans, a big-time challenger in colorado, the republican road to six seats, just got a bit easier for the gop. we'll have more on that later in the show. let's get right to my first reads of the morning and we begin out west. jan brewer ended a week-long period of speculation, public waffling last night. she vetoed a bill that would have given business owners the right to refuse to serve gays and lesbians on religious grounds. >> i call them like i see them.
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despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd. i've not heard one example in arizona where a business owner's religious liberty has been violated. the bill is broadly worded and could result in unintended and negative consequences. after weighing all of the arguments, i have vetoed senate bill 1062 moments ago. >> of course, the legislation would have amended the state's version of the so-called religious freedom restoration act, which provides that, quote, government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion explicitly expanding that protection to allow businesses to cite a violation of their own religious beliefs as a defense if they're sued for failing to provide service. the bill was inspired by a new mexico supreme court ruling against a wedding photographer who refused service to a same-sex couple, and it massed quickly through the very conservative-controlled state legislature in arizona last week. in the last few days, pressure
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on brewer to veto the bill has grown from almost every corner. the arizona story crossed the threshold from political feeding frenzy into the mainstream. it was showing up on every platform yesterday, from espn to late-night talk shows. and though brewer claimed she was not influenced by cheers and boos from the crowd, it was clear from the outset that her state, whose reputation has already been tarnished over the years in the wake of the state's 2010 immigration law, had a lot to lose. on wednesday, the nfl, quote, began investigating the necessary steps to move next season's super bowl from the phoenix area. prompting memories of 1993 when the super bowl was moved from tempe, arizona, to pasadena because arizona had voted against establishing a martin luther king holiday. major league baseball issued a statement saying mlb has a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation. companies from apple and american airlines, intel, american express urged brewer to veto the bill, raising the spector that the state might
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lose millions in tourism dollars. the hispanic national bar association announced that it had cancelled plans to hold its 2015 convention in phoenix and the human rights campaign, national gay rights group, delivered boxes of 63,000 signatures asking for a veto to the state capitol yesterday. last night, hrc president griffin said brewer's veto, quote, spared her state from an institutional discrimination and economic catastrophe. arizona's republican senators eager to see the end of another embarrassing episode for arizona welcomed brewer's decision. jeff flake tweeted this. let's move forward now and show the country what we've always known, there's no better place to be than in arizona. john mccain said in a statement, quote, i hope we request move on from this controversy and assure the american people that everyone is welcomed to live, work, and enjoy the beautiful state of arizona. the longer the debate went on, the bigger the dent it made in arizona's reputation, and the spot it put national republicans in, forced alienating voters or
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look intolerant to swing voters. yesterday, i asked rick scott repeatedly if he would back the bill or veto it. do you think she should sign or veto that bill? >> chuck, i've not seen that bill. what i'm focused on, they have spring training teams -- >> as governor of florida, would you raid those spring training teams using that bill as an excuse? >> again, chuck, i haven't seen the bill. >> you think a bill like that of religious beliefs should be used as a basis that somebody -- of denying services to a gay couple? >> chuck, i haven't seen -- i haven't seen the bill. >> so after being hammered all day by democrats, including charlie crist's gubernatorial campaign, scott released a lengthy statement before the veto happened, saying, this, i don't want to tell governor brewer what to do. she can do what's best for her state. from my understanding of that bill, i would veto it in florida, because it seems unnecessary. other states can spend their time fighting overer shoes like
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this, but in florida we're laser-focused on creating jobs. it's clear democrats will seize on issues like this one in the run-up 2014 and 2016. hillary clinton responded to news of the veto last night while she was giving a talk in miami. >> thankfully, the governor of arizona has vetoed -- [ cheers and applause ] -- the discriminatory legislation that was passed. recognizing that inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about. >> the veto does not mean the end of the debate about the rights of same-sex couples in arizona. another bill introduced in january proposes to amend state law to say a church is not required to, quote, facilitate a marriage that is inconsistent with the sincerely held belief of doctrine of that church. and though the law brewer vetoed last night has gotten all the attention, don't overlook the fact that it is not explicitly
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illegal under arizona state law to discriminate based on sexual orientation. in fact, arizona is one of 29 states that does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and one of 33 states that has no law outlawing discrimination based on gender identity. now, the senate passed a federal law that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace. the employment nondiscrimination act last november, passed 64-32, but house speaker john boehner called the bill dead on arrival. >> -- i am opposed to discrimination of any kind in the workplace and anyplace else. but i think this legislation, that i've dealt with as chairman of the education workforce committee, long before i was in the leadership, is unnecessary. i'm opposed to continuing this. >> one more thing. if the supreme court thought that they were going to be able to wait five years or more after
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last year's decision on same-sex marriage before ruling on the issue again, and whether it should be protected federally, yesterday's ruling in texas is just another reminder that they don't have that long. a federal judge in texas struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage, putting on hold on the ruling, though, while the case is being appealed. texas now becomes the sixth state in the past two months where a federal judge has struck down all or part of a gay marriage ban. texas governor rick perry called the decision yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn't be achieved at the ballot box. his attorney general, greg abbott, who is running for governor, said this, the u.s. supreme court has ruled over and over again that states have the authority to define and regulate marriage, but folks, the supreme court is likely to have no choice but to deal with this issue, probably now before the 2016 election. just think about that, in 2015, 2016, what happens when they finally deal with this. just too many federal cases now around the country. i'm joined by former arizona
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congressman jim colby. he came out in 1996 to become the second openly gay republican to serve in congress. of course, he represented part of the state of arizona. congressman, good morning to you, sir. >> good morning, chuck. >> i just want to get your initial reaction to governor brewer's decision. >> well, it was the right decision. i'm certainly pleased that she did it. i felt all along that when she weighed all the issues that she would do exactly what she did. she's right. it's not necessary. it doesn't -- it harms the reputation of the state of arizona, and it would be economically very damaging to the state. it's not the right thing to do. >> explain to some viewers here about the arizona -- the state of the arizona republican party these days. i'm reminded, folks, a few months ago, i believe the state party actually voted to censure john mccain. there seems to be a real divide sort of where national republicans and even republicans that represent arizona here in washington view things on social issues and what happens inside the state.
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explain that divide. >> well, there is some, about that censure was more than just social issues. it also had to do with obamacare and a variety of other things. the republican party in the state, as in many states, is the people who are active in the party are more conservative than the general voter who goes to the polls. so we tend to have pretty reasonable people who represent the republican party and the u.s. congress, and even for many -- in many cases the state legislature, there were three republicans who voted against that piece of legislation, senate bill 1026, and three republicans in the senate who said afterwards they realized it was a mistake. so i think there's a lot of good thinking going on there. but there are a lot of people who are very, very socially conservative in the state. >> now, i know that you had worked to try to get mitt romney who were among some republicans -- gay republicans -- try to get mitt romney, for instance, endorse i believe it was the federal act
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to potentially add sexual orientation as one of the things that would be banned when it comes to discrimination. and you couldn't discriminate based on sexual orientation. do you think this episode in arizona will make john boehner -- the clip i play of john boehner was november 2013, last year. do you think this episode in arizona makes boehner and other national republicans rethink their position on this issue? >> well, i would say it's just one of this many steps that are taking place. we're going through -- clearly going through an evolution in this country on this issue. as you've seen in a number of states that have adopted the idea of gay marriage, the number of states with nondiscrimination clauses, and by the way, in the state of arizona, both tucson and phoenix, two largest cities in the state covering 85% of the population, do have such prohibitions against discrimination. so i think we're going through an evolution in this process, and i think this is just one more step along that road.
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>> do you think issues like this could prevent the republicans from gaining control of the senate, or from winning elections from -- from winning some elections that maybe they should and don't? >> i don't think so. i mean, this is pretty quickly done and over with. it's just a week since the -- less than a week since the legislation was passed. sent to her desk. and she vetoed it very promptly. and i think by and large, this issue will die down, at least as it is in arizona. and i hope that republicans all over the country are going to focus on the real issues, which are the economic issues of jobs and getting the economy moving forward. >> have you ever found yourself not supporting a republican that you agree with on economic issues, but you ended up voting against that person because of their stances on issues that are important to gay americans? >> yes, i have. >> and do you think that this is -- have you expressed those views to them, and said, you
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know -- >> sure. >> -- they're missing an opportunity, whether it's to potentially expand their majorities? >> yeah, i think it does do that, just make it is more difficult for us to expand that majority. i'm not an all-or-nothing, and i certainly have supported republicans who have not been for gay marriage, but i think we're moving in that direction. but it is -- there are some who just go beyond the pale in terms of their positions they take on this, and i have not supported them. >> all right, jim kolbe, former arizona republican congressman. thank you for coming on. >> thank you very much. >> appreciate it. up next, it was one of the most emotional, personal moments of the obama presidency. it was president obama's candid comments following the george zimmerman verdict. that conversation continues today. the white house launches a new initiative for young men of color. white house senior advisor valerie jarrett will join me next with details on this, and it's a possible peek into the president's post-white house plans. before we go to break, a look at today's politics planner. it's a busy one.
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we've got the big convention announcement and the finalist on the republican side. democrats just starting their process for which cities. vegas, kansas city, denver. will they be the three city finalists for the 2016 republican convention? you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. [ ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay. you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car, and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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president obama is launching a program today that he's become deeply emotionally attached to over the last few years in the white house. the new initiative is "my brother's keeper," aimed at helping young men of color. the launch really started in this high school classroom with these at-risk teens in a program called "becoming a man." and it was last february. the president spent so much time talking to them while in chicago, it derailed his whole
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schedule for the day. he attended the president's speech on gun control. six months later, young men of color were on the president's mind again, when he spoke of the george zimmerman trial verdict that came down. >> trayvon martin was first shot, i said that this could have been my son. another way of saying that is trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago. >> president brought the "becoming a man" group to washington for father's day. and last month, the president announced plans for a broader initiative as part of his state of the union address. >> i'm reaching out to some of america's leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing especially tough odds to stay on track and reach their full potential. >> and while the president is hoping to use the bully pulpit to jump-start this initiative, it's also a glimpse into the future for president obama after he leaves the white house.
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to explain this initiative in a little more detail, i'm joined by valerie jarrett. good morning to you, valerie. >> good morning, chuck. how are you? >> i'm great. this is clearly an issue, very personal to him. i know the president's been pondering being a more public on this issue for years, and it seems the trigger really was this meeting with the chicago teens, and then, of course, the controversy that erupted around zimmerman. walk us through that a little bit. >> well, his experience with the teens is just as you said, chuck. he spent far more time with them than we had allocated on his schedule. they shared their life story, and he shared theirs, and then when he went and addressed the broader group, he said the only difference really between the teens that are a part of bam and his life is he grew up in a more forgiving environment. and in hawaii, if you got in trouble, there weren't any real serious consequences, but on the streets of chicago, the consequences could be fatal. and he -- i was going to say, he
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feels this enormous responsibility to make sure that all of our children grow up and have the ability for that fair shot and opportunity to reach their dreams and so many children are being left behind right now. >> yeah, let's talk about it. he wants to bring a spotlight to this. >> yes, he does. >> how will this work? you talk about reaching out to corporations. what does that mean? explain the mechanics of the initiative. >> sure, let's go through that. already, we have ten foundations who are committed to putting up resources, in addition to the ones they've already put up, $150 million has already been spent, and they're prepared to invest an additional $200 million. and then we have a range of corporate leaders very engaged and interested in this issue. and what we'd like to do is let's look at the programs that work, like the "becoming a man" program in chicago. there's an amazing program in miami. there are wrones here in d.c. and let's take to scale what's working. >> and what -- i'm sorry. >> let's see how we can help so many of the boys and young men at key points in their life, chuck.
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so, for example, early childhood education is a huge priority. so many of the young boys by the age of third grade aren't reading. and we know that's a major indicator for whether or not you're going to graduate from high school on time. so let's make sure that they're literate by third grade. looking at the system by which suspensions and expulsions are put in place. oftentimes disproportionately affect boys of color. let's keep the children in the classroom. the juvenile delinquency system disproportionately affects boys of color. let's find out how we can engage them, excite them, keep them learning, and out of the juvenile justice system, which leads directly to the adult penal system. and let's make sure they're getting the education they need and they're prepared for work. there are many different opportunities in the course of a child's life where we can make a huge impact. we have evidence-based programs that we know work. they simply need to be taken to scale. >> and when you say these programs, does this have to
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do -- is it a mix, it's after-school? is it a mix of weekend? how do you get to these -- used many times -- broken homes -- >> that's exactly -- >> is -- describe some of the programs in detail that you think may end up being scaled. national. >> let's talk more about the becoming a man program. that's for high school boys, and they either participate voluntarily or they're required to do so involuntarily because they've gotten in trouble, and it teaches them everything from life skills to anger management to discipline and motivation, to aspire for a career, encourages them to think about going to college. just a whole range of both social and academic skills that they need in order to thrive. and then can you go to the other end of the spectrum. there is evidence that shows, for example, that poor children use 30 million fewer words by the time they're 3. >> that's amazing. >> so we need to figure out how
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to provide an enriched environment for the very young children. the president has made a clear commitment he thinks every child should have access to quality, early childhood education, so they go into school prepared to learn. the president's also going to talk a lot about the responsibility of parents, of extended family, everyone has a role that they can play. these young boys and men need positive role models. and i'll tell you a story told to me yesterday by a young man who works here. he said, children will aspire to the expectations that we set for them. and so, we need to set expectations high, and then we need to make sure all of our children have that chance to be lifted up. >> well, the importance of an extended family is something that the president lived, obviously. >> exactly. exactly. >> valerie jarrett, is it fair to say this will probably be a big part of a focus of the president once he leaves office, as well? >> well, i think both he and the first lady are committed to spending a good part of their life helping young people just as they always have. so this is just a continuation
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of the life that they have led so far and continue to do into the future. >> all right, valerie jarrett, senior advisor at the white house. valerie, thank you for coming on. >> you're welcome. thank you for covering this very important initiative. >> you got it. we're following developing news this morning out of ukraine. unrest is spreading. the u.s. issuing a new warning to russia. that's all next. still to come -- today's tdr 50 feature. a "deep dive" into the politics of cuba in the state of florida. the tiny island that shaped political debates in florida nor decades. is that debate changing? first, today's trivia question. when was the last time florida had two republican senators at the same time? first person to tweet the correct answer to @chucktodd and @dailyrundown will get the on-air shoutout. if i can impart one lesson to a
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use the military to try to change the balance of power in ukraine. the number comes after deposed ukrainian prime minister yanukovych. he told a news organization that he still considers himself president of ukraine and he sought russian protection from what he describes as extremists. russia has begun conducting large-scale military exercises near moscow and has sent fighter jets to the ukrainian border. pro-russian gunmen have seized government buildings in ukraine's crimea region. a russian flag now flies over the local parliament. ukraine's acting president threatened today to use any means necessary to reclaim the territory. is this starting to look like a civil war, folks. this is turning into a major, major foreign policy crisis for the united states. up next, a "deep dive" into a sea change for the sunshine state. why cuba isn't the third-rail of fla politics anymore.
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nbc's newest late-night host seth meyers is getting in on the tdr 50 florida focus. take a look. >> i notice that when i run across a news story that's particularly bizarre, it's almost always something that happened in florida. i will read a news story and you guess whether it's fake. a pastor in miami gardens told the press that he would eat a live cockroach as a stunt to bring more people to his megachurch. fake or florida? >> definitely florida. >> bingo! that's correct.
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today, a "deep dive" into the politics of cuba and rumblings about a shift in u.s. policy toward the communist nation. after president obama came into office, he loosened travel restrictions pretty quickly for cuban-americans, a move that seemed to open the door for more substantial across-the-board reforms, but it never happened, at least not yet.
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that's despite the fact that president obama has repeatedly dropped hints of changing or ending the 52-year-old trade embargo, says cold war politics didn't make sense in the 21st century. for decades, that kind of talk had been off-limits. cold war style thinking had made cuba a third rail of foreign policy, particularly in florida politics. but now, it seems the politics may be changing. there's no better test case that florida's high-profile governors race. earlier this month, a little bit of a surprise when the democratic candidate, charlie crist, told bill maher, i don't think the embargo worked. it's obvious to me we need to move forward, and i think get the embargo taken away. somebody running for statewide office saying that, you would have eliminated them a decade ago. now, he's a major player. republican governor rick scott fired back in a statement saying the importance of maintaining the embargo is that it stands for the cuban people's right to be free. the truth is, the u.s. have
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having an increasingly difficult time defending the cuba policy, particularly onto world stage. the united nations has voted 22 times to urge the u.s. to drop the embargo. it happened most recently last october, when the vote was 188-2, and only israel voted with the united states. even the communist argument doesn't work anymore. the trade relations with china, laos, vietnam, all communist countries, and businesses are putting pressure on the administration, saying the economic benefits of opening up the cuban trade market would be hugely beneficial. remind of the politics that might change down there. the u.s. could be losing $1.2 billion a year in lost exports. the cuba policy foundation puts the number closer to $5 billion. of course, the issue of cuba relations can't be examined solely through a political or economic lens. cuba and the castro brothers have a long history of brutal repression, limiting freedom of expression and crushing all forms of political opposition. according to a human rights watch report last year, quote,
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the government of raul castro continued to enforce political conformity using short-term detention, beatings, public acts of repudiation, forced exile. reports like that are at the heart of the opposition, closer ties to cuba and the castros, and on monday we saw the argument play out on capitol hill, as tom harken recounted in mostly positive terms a trip he made to the island. and he called for closer relationship between the u.s. and cuba. >> it's only our official policy that stands in the way of he exports of commodities and food products, plus related agricultural machinery, technology, and so forth. if we had better trade, i might see some more john deere implements down in cuba, which would be great for their productivity. >> sanctions are a tool in our foreign policy toolbox, and we as the freest nation on earth are looked to by people in this country and all around the world to stand by them in their moment of need when they clamor for
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freedom and liberty and human rights. they look for america to be on their side, not for america to be gutting geopolitical deals or making it easier to sell tractors to the government there. we should be clear about these things. >> it's important it's a personal and emotional issue, particularly for many floridians. i'm joined by bill martinez, the first cuban-american to ever serve in the senate. senator martinez, nice to see you, sir. >> good morning, chuck. good to see you. >> well, where are we on this? where are you on this? you've been -- i think you were fairly -- you were okay with the president's initial decision with opening up travel for cuban americans to go back to cuba. where are you on embargo itself? is it really an effective tool in the foreign policy toolbox? >> well, chuck, i think that while travel restrictions for the family can see one another, someone who's lived in cuba as a child and still has family
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there, was separated from my family for four years, i think there's some compelling issues of family reunification, and even, frankly, of being able to provide financial support to our relatives. however, when you come into the business world, when you come into the opportunities for economic opportunity, as senator harken was trying to praise, we really have to look at the totality of cuba's situation. frankly, not only the deplorable human rights record, the repression, and, frankly, i commend to anyone who hasn't seen the whole speech that senator rubio gave, very, very strong and good. and so, i believe, frankly, that we continue to look at the united states as where change should take place. and frankly, i think we need to ask the cuban people for change, the cuban government for change, in the way it treats its own people. to me, human rights is at the core of it. i think until they ease up on their horrible repression, until they make changes within their system that allows for a little bit of freedom, i find it really difficult to just walk away from
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our current policy. and, chuck, let me point out two quick things for you. number one, it isn't up to the president to change the policy. it's legislatively enacted. >> yeah. >> second thing is, it's not unusual to ask charlie crist to change his position. he used to be staunchly in charge of the embargo. >> that's what party switchers in general have to deal with, a lot of flipped positions. let's go to the issue of human rights. on cuba, we're holding cuba to a standard that we don't hold china to. i'm sorry, it's a contradiction that have very hard to defend. >> look, i understand that some people want to kblos it over. however, i would -- i would sustain that cuba's situation is far different from china. number one, it's right next door. today as we speak, the russian spy ship has pulled into the shores of cuba two, three days ago unannounced, unexplained. cuba exports a system to venezuela. we see people in the streets of venezuela fighting for their rights, instructed and commanded by the shock troops that cuba
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has trained for them. so all the way around, cuba is a problem that china isn't. >> what do you say to the argument that, guess what, economic -- the fact that a free market economy is essentially upending china, and china, in order to get more trade, is essentially quietly stopped other than in name only, stopped many of the policies on communism? what about that argument that says, open up the country in cuba, and watch the reform happen even faster. >> well, look, cuba trades with every country in the world except the united states, and even with the united states, we're the second or third trading partner, because we sell them agricultural and pharmaceuticals, and things of that nature. and so, cuba trades with everyone, and cuba is a basketcase, and cuba hasn't changed one iota. the fact is china made significant changes before they became the powerful economic giant that they are today. so i would say to you, china, a
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country of -- i don't know, what, 2 billion people, cuba, a country of 11 million, the comparisons are just not the same. they are geopolitical important state to us across the world. cuba is in our own backyard. and as i say, they've been fomenting and exporting behavior. i want to go back to the place i was born. >> i understand. >> i yearn for the day when things can be different. >> well, and i think that's what we all hope for down there, more importantly. because, look, they have horrible, horrible political prisoners there, we have allen gross there, so it is important this is not -- that is not lost on us. senator martinez, a pleasure to talk with you. nice to see you. >> thank you. always good to see you, chuck. and i have to tell you, it's time to say go 'noles. >> oh. well, only in one-half of my household. all right, sir. thanks. i now want to go to the political impact of this. adam smith, political editor for
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"tampa bay times." adam, when you look at what the cuban vote did in 2012, you look at a democratic candidate for a statewide office in florida felt comfortable doing this. is it fair to say that cuba is no longer the third rail of florida politics? >> yeah, i do think it's definitely no longer the third rail of politics. you know, in a vast majority of the state, really nobody cares about this issue, but in miami-dade, such a population center, it's a driving issue. so i do think in a way the safer position is to support the continued embargo, because that's an issue that motivates exiles who strongly support it even as public opinion is shifting to more and more support for sort of thawing relations. >> what i found fascinating about 2012, and correct me if i'm wrong, there was plenty of targeted advertising against president bchl in -- president obama in the cuban economy, and this is clearly not a political divide but a generational divide
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among cubans in south florida, is that right? >> absolutely. every day, the older the exile community gets, the more die off, it becomes less and less of an issue. it's still -- it still -- one cannot imagine somebody being elected congressman from miami-dade and supporting doing away with the empargo. here where i am -- >> do you think charlie crist will -- if he can't carry miami-dade, he can't become governor of the state. i mean, no democrat can win without miami-dade right now. do you think that his position could cost him the ability to carry miami-dade? >> i think it's -- there's no way charlie crist will not carry miami-dade. it's just a question of just how ginormous a margin. miami-dade is getting so blue. it was a risky position for charlie to take, especially in miami-dade. >> all right. well, it's going to be interesting to watch. and one wonders if crist wins, if suddenly that is used as an excuse and cover for the white house to end up doing more on
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that front before the 2016 election. anyway, adam smith, always a pleasure to have you on, especially during florida week. coming up, meet the democrat fighting to keep a south dakota senate seat blue. just as republicans increase their odds of taking over control of the u.s. senate. first, white house soup of the day. el paso chicken and rice. we'll be right back. because you can't beat zero heartburn. woo hoo! [ male announcer ] prilosec otc is the number one doctor recommended frequent heartburn medicine for 8 straight years. one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn.
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trivia time. ready for this? you have to go back nearly 140 years to 1875 to find out the last time florida had two republican senators serving simultaneously. congratulations to today's winner, mr. capricorn 88. send your trivia suggestions to dailyrundown.msnbc.com. we'll be right back. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans.
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well, as we all know, the magic number for senate republicans is six.
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if they protect the seats they have and pick up six more, democratic held seats, they're in charge in 2015. this morning, republican odds are getting better. putting colorado in play with a surprise announcement that republican congressman announce cory gardner changed his mind and decided to run against mark udall. he'll have to get through a multicandidate primary, but that sounds like it will happen quickly. already ken buc, the tea party republican that cost republicans that senate seat in 2010 has dropped out and now wants to run for gardner ease seat in the 4th district. look at what they have done. they now have multiple paths to find their six seats. with serious candidates in 14, count 'em 14 currently democratically held senate seats. one state where they already believe they have a great shot of picking up, is south dakota. tim johnson has decided to retire. several serious democratic prospects decided not to run
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giving, now former republican governor mike rounds is considered the republican primary front-runner and slight favorite in november, but the spoiler in this race for rounds is a former three-term republican senator, larry press pressler, who's trying to run as an independent in order to get back to washington. >> my goal is to have a term in the senate where i could vote my conscience completely without being tied to a caucus. i expect both republican and democratic support, and i expect to win. >> despite being the only major candidate without -- a political resume to the race. he worked on tom daschle and cook's -- he was then appointed by president clinton ton a regional director for fema. so far whyland has weiland says
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he would rather shake hands than shake down big donors, banking more than a million on cash on hand that dwarfs weiland, and has a told of almost $385,000 during the same period. fittingly is his first bill would be federal election campaign reform. before he can beat a former governor and a former senator who have a lot of name recognition, so far the democratic party hasn't clearly and publicly embraced him. i'm joined by rick weiland this morning. it seems as if democrats are on the ropes trying to control the senate. one of the races they don't have a lot of faith in nationally and don't talk about much is your
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race. why have you had a different time convincing harry reid and other democrats to get better hind you. >> i think that will change. i mean, the people of my state are really focused on making government work, and what we've had is a situation where this is no longer the land of opportunity of big hopes and big dreams. it's become the land of big money. with your opener, that's why i'm talking about, we need to take back our government from this big money that's gotten in the way of good policy. as i've had traveled to the 287 towns and 311 communities, and i'm going to do it all over again, that kind of grassroots campaign, that kind of get out there and earn it, look people in the eye, that will trump in money. >> in a small state, i buy that that can work, but i'm sure, and i've heard this from other democrats, rick weiland, nice guy, he's too liberal. >> that's a line. i just don't buy it.
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sitting down with people, looking them in the eye talk about why you're running, that will trump the big money and "he's too liberal for south dakota." you've seen it happened tom harkin in iowa, tom daschle in south dakota, hubert humphrey. there's a demonstrated path for victory for people who are willing to get out there and work hard. for me it's a three-word plant -- relentless hard work. while i'm doing that, chuck, and you've been in this towns, my likely opponents is out shaking down big money in new york and texas. i think that's going to win in campaign. >> let me ask you this on the issue of health care, i think you believe that the health care law didn't go far enough. >> exactly. >> what would you have done? >> i support making medicare available to everyone of any age. people should be able to buy
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into medicare. the reason that didn't happen, when the affordable care act was being debated and decided out here in washington, it was because of the big health insurance companies and big drug companies that didn't want that medicare option. >> you think they captured president obama? >> they captured the process -- >> you think he is too captured by the process. >> they captured the process and co-opted it with their influence. i will tell you have been worked for aarp for one year in my state, we have 140,000 people on medicare. they wouldn't give it up for one dollar to go over private insurance. and as i've traveled the state whether or not to give up their medicare now in the last nine months, people like medicare. it's simple. i talked to a woman the other kay in a cafe in will dmont said it took her ten minutes to sign up. i believe we need to bring in private/public competition, and
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we don't have that. the affordable care act isn't affordable enough. that's what this medicare option will do. let me ask you about larry pressler. a lot of people say he'll take more votes from you than rounds, because the issue seems to be he was known to be an obama supporter, and that the most will be ra real activist members like the fact that he helped president obama. >> well, i don't know that that really resonates out there. senator pressler was a three-term republican senator with a conservative voting record. if it ends up in the fall where i'm running against a former republican and former republican governor, and i'm the only democrat on the ballot in november, that that's going to work to my advantage. >> we'll see if you convince the powers that be down pennsylvania avenue. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. >> be cave on the campaign trail. we'll be following your race. >> thank you. that's it for this edition.
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up just is chris jansing. i will see you tomorrow. this is interesting. it says here that a woman's sex drive increases at the age of 80. helps reduce the risk of heart disease. it seems that 80 is the new 18. grannies, bless your heart, you are bringing sexy back! eat up. keep heart-healthy. live long. for a healthy heart, eat the 100% natural whole grain goodness of post shredded wheat. doctors recommend it.
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hillary clinton once again making the rounds on the speaking circuit. this is new, but she did not reveal her future plans. that's not stopping some from trying to pin her down. >> can you give us some insight into how the tv bio looks like? >> well, i would really like to, but i have no characters left. >> twitter jokes on the rep side. chris christie and mitt romney reunite to raise money for the republican party. that comes as the new jersey governor tries to move further away from bridge-gate. >> we're going through internal investigation. all of this stuff will come out open an appropriate period of time. i'm not going to give into the hysteria of

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